A Complete Guide to Storing Breast Milk
For new mommies, it’s only natural to worry about everything constantly. What is the right way to do this and that? What is the best way to take care of a baby? How is breast milk properly stored? One of the most important topics that first-time mothers will encounter is breastfeeding and breast milk storage.
A breast pump is essential to every household. Mommies must get a hold of good quality reliable breast pumps. Luckily, there is a breast pump online that people can buy for more convenience and ease. Here is a complete guide that details how breast milk is properly stored.
How to Prepare for Pumping
For mothers looking for a good and reliable breastfeeding pump, breast pump online from Baby Amore offers a wide selection of comfortable pumps from premium brands. They are here to support every new mom in their breastfeeding journey.
Once the item is on hand, make sure to thoroughly clean the breast pump before every usage. Before pumping, mothers should wash their hands and have clean containers at the ready. They also need to find a comfortable and clean area in the house to do this.
To extract a good amount of milk, experts say that mothers should try expressing during the time their babies normally feed. This is because the body will have an instinctive reaction to continuously produce milk to provide for the baby. If you want to improve your milk supply, you can also supplement with lactation cookie bites by Majka.
How to Handle Fresh Breast Milk
After pumping, it is recommended to immediately keep the milk at room temperature for only up to four hours. Mothers can place it on flat surfaces such as countertops and tables that can easily be accessed when necessary. Cover the containers with clean, cool towels to protect them from dust and other particles.
Breast milk cannot be exposed to direct sunlight. So, parents need to be wary about where they place it within the four-hour period. Preferably away from big windows. If there are other children and toddlers in the house, it is also best to place fresh breast milk out of their reach.
How to Refrigerate Breast Milk
When storing breast milk, place it in breast milk storage bags that are specifically created for human milk. If for some reason, this is not obtainable, an alternative is to use clean glass or BPA-free containers with tight and secure lids to avoid spillage.
Breast milk can be refrigerated for up to four days only. Allot an area in the refrigerator where milk can be safely stored and easily accessed. It is also recommended that mothers properly label their milk with necessary details such as pumping time and best before date.
For mothers who are away from home, say, for example, in the office, the pumped milk can still be placed in the shared refrigerator, given that it is clearly labeled and separated from other items inside.
How to Freeze Breast Milk
If the breast milk will not be used in the next four days, it is better to store it in the freezer immediately to preserve the milk’s quality. It is also recommended that mothers freeze their milk in small amounts of two to four ounces to avoid wasting it.
When freezing breast milk, be sure to leave about an inch of space from the milk to the top of the container since it is expected to expand as it cools. To prevent unexpected thawing and sudden changes in temperature, store breast milk at the back of the freezer. Breast milk can last anywhere from six months to 12 months.
If the family is traveling with a baby, packing breast milk in an insulated cooler surrounded by ice packs is acceptable. This can only be stored for a maximum of 24 hours. Before reaching that timeline, the milk can either be consumed by the infant or directly transferred to a refrigerator or freezer.
How to Safely Thaw Breast Milk
Properly labeling the storage bags allows every mother to know which ones are the oldest breast milk, and therefore distinguish which should be thawed first. Remember, the first one in should also be the first one out.
There are a couple of ways to thaw breast milk. One can leave it in the refrigerator overnight or place it in a container with lukewarm to warm water. Another option is to place the tightly sealed container under lukewarm running water.
After thawing in the refrigerator, breast milk should be consumed within 24 hours. However, once the milk has reached room temperature, it should be used within two hours. Do not refreeze it once thawed.
Under no circumstances should breast milk be thawed in the microwave. Doing so would destroy all the nutrients. It can also form hot spots that will eventually burn the infant’s mouth upon feeding.
What to do with Leftover Breast Milk
Making bottles for feeding is trial and error. It’s impossible to predict how much a baby can finish, especially during their first time. Sometimes the baby can finish a whole bottle. Other times, there can be leftovers.
When that happens, experts say that leftover milk should be thrown away two hours after feeding. Since it has been exposed to saliva, bacteria can manifest and cultivate in the bottle. For this reason, always discard leftover milk in used bottles.
How to Clean the Pumping Equipment
After every pump, mothers should carefully clean the equipment by sanitizing and storing all the materials properly. The breast pump, baby bottles, and other items should be placed in a clean and secure compartment to avoid contamination. If there is a need to renew any items, mothers can always buy a breast pump online and find everything they need for their breastfeeding journey.
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The journey to proper breastfeeding can be challenging. Taking care of the baby’s health is of utmost importance, and there can be no room for mistakes. Fortunately, there are respectable experts and fellow mothers who are more than willing to share their knowledge and experience to help every new mommy adjust to motherhood’s joys and wonders.
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